Taith Iolo a Pws i St Kilda


Taith Iolo a Pws i St Kilda

Taith i St Kilda, ynysoedd mwyaf gorllewinol Prydain, yng nghwmni Iolo Williams a Dewi Pws. A fascinating journey to St Kilda, Britain's most westernly isles, with Iolo Williams...


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Transcript


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-I'm in the Hebrides, in Scotland, at

-the start of an adventurous journey.

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-I'm going to travel over 50 miles

-out into the Atlantic...

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-..to visit the most westerly and

-most striking island in Britain...

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-..St Kilda.

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-I've been invited to do a survey

-of sea birds that nest there.

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-I've got someone to help me...

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-Another one.

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-Dewi, what on earth are you doing?

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-You know this counting business?

-I've got a fantastic system.

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-I'm surprised no-one's thought of it

-before. Every time I see a bird...

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-..like that, I say, "Another one."

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-Then when I return

-to the house in the evening...

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-..I just count the times

-I said "Another one." Simple!

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-(Tape)

-Another one... another one...

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-I only agreed to do this counting...

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-..because I've always

-wanted to see St Kilda.

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-It's a special, unique island.

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-I also wanted to find out about

-the people who lived there...

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-..for generations, up to the 1930s,

-when they were persuaded...

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-..that life would be much better

-on the mainland.

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-Their way of life was unique and

-they were totally self-sufficient.

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-The reason for that was that

-they were good climbers.

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-They climbed the steep cliffs to

-catch what was their staple diet.

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-That is, the birds that lived there.

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-You think it's a long walk

-to the shop!

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-What are those?

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-What are those?

-

-Eider ducks.

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-Oh - eiderdown. How many

-birds' names do you know?

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-Ten.

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-You just swap them round!

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-Where exactly is St Kilda?

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-That way.

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-What's this place called?

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-What's this place called?

-

-Balranald, on South Uist.

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-Nice place.

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-Better than the Caribbean.

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-The finest beaches in the world.

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-It is nice here.

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-Balranald, RSPB Reserve, North Uist

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-What's so special about this place?

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-What's so special about this place?

-

-Just the birds you see here.

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-Listen - use your ears.

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-That's a redshank.

-There are lapwings everywhere.

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-There's one calling over there.

-There's a redshank passing.

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-There are snipes and curlews here.

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-I've never seen, or heard,

-so many birds in one small patch.

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-There are more of these birds

-in one square mile here...

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-..than anywhere else in Europe.

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-You wouldn't find as many birds

-in one place in Wales?

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-But the birds are there?

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-But the birds are there?

-

-Yes, but in Wales they're very rare.

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-You might have found them in Wales

-a century ago.

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-Look at this place.

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-There's a small lake.

-The yellow iris grows here.

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-That white flower is cottongrass.

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-It's very wet here. You won't find

-wet places like this any more.

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-They've all been drained, improved.

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-Improved - or worsened!

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-Improved - or worsened!

-

-Exactly.

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-Once you do that,

-the birds leave - they vanish.

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-Listen!

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-BIRDSONG

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-Why is it important that it's wet?

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-Look at the birds. See that snipe?

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-Yes, the one with a long beak.

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-Yes, the one with a long beak.

-

-Yes.

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-If the ground is hard,

-it can't put its beak in the mud.

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-If it's wet, it can

-put its beak in, and feed.

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-If wet, there are insects there.

-If dry, there are hardly any.

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-It's nothing to do with nesting -

-they can nest anywhere?

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-Yes, as long as there is growth.

-That's another thing we don't have.

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-What's that?

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-What's that?

-

-A lapwing.

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-Ah, right!

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-Ah, right!

-

-It's lovely.

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-Ah, right!

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-Yes. It's quite big.

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-Yes - well, the wings are,

-not the bird.

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-And that's a snipe. Can you see it?

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-And that's a snipe. Can you see it?

-

-The one with with a long beak?

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-The one with with a long beak?

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-I'm starting to catch on!

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-Shh!

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-Can you hear it? It's fantastic -

-Oo Oo-Oo Oo-Oo... Listen.

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-SOUND OF BIRD'S WINGS

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-That doesn't sound

-like the bird's cry.

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-That doesn't sound

-like the bird's cry.

-

-No, it's the feathers.

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-No, it's the feathers.

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-Its tail is shaped like this.

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-The two feathers

-on the outside stick out so...

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-..and make a sound like

-"Oo Oo-Oo Oo-Oo", when it dives.

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-On purpose, or does it just happen?

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-On purpose, or does it just happen?

-

-No, it's displaying.

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-It's telling any other snipe

-to keep away - I'm here.

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-My father calls these

-'caseg y gors' - 'marsh mare'.

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-Because it sounds

-like a horse neighing?

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-Yes. A good name.

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-There it is.

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-Listen!

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-What's that?

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-What's that?

-

-A corncrake. Hear it?

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-Croak, croak!

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-There it is!

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-I'd give my right hand for a place

-like this near my home in Wales.

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-It's very sad

-about the corncrake or 'ragarug'.

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-The other birds

-are rare in Wales...

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-..but the corncrake has left Wales.

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-Granddad told me

-that a century ago...

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-..when he lived on a farm near

-Llanrug, they were very common.

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-They made quite a racket at night.

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-By 1980, they were gone, every one.

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-I've heard them once before

-but I've never seen one.

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-They're shy birds. One thing

-I really want to do here...

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-..is to see a corncrake.

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-THEY WHISPER

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-You've seen your first one.

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-You've seen your first one.

-

-Yes, in that overgrowth.

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-It's moving now, its head is up.

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-It's moving now, its head is up.

-

-Oh, right.

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-Good heavens, the first time

-ever I've seen one!

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-You're happy?

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-You're happy?

-

-Delighted!

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-It's amazing.

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-BIRD CROAKS

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-It's only small...

-another one's calling behind us!

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-It's small and brown.

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-Look at it carefully.

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-There's nothing remarkable about it.

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-It has purple and orange

-markings on its side.

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-It's like a brown moorhen.

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-Maybe it isn't the bird itself,

-but what it represents.

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-Ah, yes.

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-The things that have gone, the old,

-traditional methods of farming.

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-You wouldn't find a field

-like this at home.

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-It's full of weeds and dock leaves.

-At home, it would be tidy.

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-Exactly.

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-People are obsessed with tidiness,

-be it a farm field or garden.

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-It destroys habitat for wildlife.

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-There's a pair nesting here, in a

-small field, no bigger than a lawn.

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-But they'll nest here,

-and find what they need to eat.

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-They won't leave

-for four or five months.

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-Where do they go afterwards?

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-Where do they go afterwards?

-

-All the way to Africa.

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-All the way to Africa.

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-Do many come back here?

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-These are amongst the rarest birds

-we have in Britain.

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-One's calling over there, another

-behind us, and one in this field.

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-They were extremely common.

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-I remember reading an old cookery

-book, by Mrs Miggins...

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-..a recipe for 'Land Rail Pie'.

-It's an old name for the bird.

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-There was a note on it saying,

-"If you can't find your land rail...

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-.."go to Anglesey.

-There they are abundant."

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-Now, every one has gone.

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-Your enthusiasm's rubbing

-off on me!

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-You'll make

-an ornithologist of me yet.

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-It's amazing.

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-It's a great feeling.

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-Another one!

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-I'm sure that some of the older

-viewers will remember it.

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-They might shed a tear.

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-I can believe it.

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-I can believe it.

-

-Having lost an old friend.

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-There are hundreds

-of different birds here.

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-That's it - the corncrake's here.

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-A snipe is calling over there.

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-You hear that chut-chut, rrrr?

-That's a corn bunting.

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-We only have three pairs left,

-but they're all here.

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-Why? Because of the mixed farming.

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-They don't...

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-Purify the land.

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-They don't misuse the land,

-they respect it.

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-That's the essence of it.

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-Corn buntings are numerous

-here on the Uists.

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-But we only have three pairs

-left in Wales - six birds.

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-Are they faithful to one partner?

-They say swans are.

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-They are.

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-Is every bird?

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-Is every bird?

-

-No.

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-Interesting research

-has been done with sparrows.

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-It shows that when the cock

-goes off to fetch food...

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-..he gets a bit of 'how's your

-father', here, there and everywhere.

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-But what he doesn't know,

-when he's off, she goes next door.

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-That's wrong!

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-She might have six eggs,

-with four fathers.

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-Good grief!

-So the cocks have a good time.

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-No! That's the other thing.

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-They're not like us.

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-They don't have a 'didgeridoo'.

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-The males?

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-Yes. What they have is just

-a hole, more or less.

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-He comes together with her.

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-He comes together with her.

-

-Yes.

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-The fruit, the seed,

-goes from him to her.

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-So it isn't that much fun.

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-No, not without didgeridoos.

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-Didgeridoo!

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-It's midnight, and we've come to

-help the three persons behind us.

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-They're looking for hedgehogs.

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-Hedgehogs aren't indigenous

-to this island.

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-Someone introduced them

-around 1974 or 1975.

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-Since then, they've become a pest.

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-Hedgehogs are very fond

-of eating the eggs of birds...

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-..that nest on the ground.

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-It's been discovered that the number

-of birds that nest here...

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-..especially redshanks,

-ringed plovers and dunlins...

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-..has decreased by about 60%.

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-The reason for this

-is that hedgehogs eat the eggs.

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-So an experiment is under way

-to see if they can get rid of them.

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-They go out with a lamp at night,

-see the little hedgehog's eyes...

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-..catch them and kill them.

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-It sound cruel, but

-they don't belong to this island.

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-They cause a lot of trouble,

-so it's very important they go.

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-They have to wear gloves...

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-..because the hedgehogs

-carry all sorts of diseases.

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-It's in the bag.

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-It's amazing - they've already

-walked twice through this field...

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-..in a fortnight, and they've caught

-three more this evening.

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-It shows how great a problem it is.

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-I don't know if they'll be able

-to get rid of all these animals.

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-I hope they do. We'll see.

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-888

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-Fountain pippit.

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-House wheatearse.

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-Oh!

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-Carrion flycatcher.

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-< Purple crested warbler.

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-Before continuing

-with our journey from the Uists...

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-..over the sea to St Kilda,

-Dewi and I went to the mountains.

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-I wanted to show him an old

-favourite of mine, the hen harrier.

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-There! Do you see it?

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-There! Do you see it?

-

-There it is.

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-Isn't it pretty?

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-It's lovely!

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-Look at them move.

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-How big is it?

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-How big is it?

-

-About the size of a buzzard.

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-How long are the wings?

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-Three and a half feet.

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-As big as that? Heavens!

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-As big as that? Heavens!

-

-Yes, it has long wings.

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-Are these found in Wales?

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-Yes, you'll find around 30 pairs

-at most every year.

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-They need a lot of land

-with heather.

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-We don't have that much, while

-in Scotland, there's over 400...

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-Hey, look at it now!

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-See it go? Loop the loop!

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-It's like a roller coaster.

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-It's called a sky dance.

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-It's displaying - it's telling

-any other cock in the area...

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-..and there is another

-pair over there...

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-.."stay out of my patch! I'm here."

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-It's a marvellous sight,

-as fine as anything...

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-..you'll see on this island.

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-Marvellous. It sounds

-like an Indian saying, sky dance.

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-She's going to land.

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-Coming down?

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-You can see the white backside.

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-The female's bigger than the male.

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-The female's bigger than the male.

-

-Is she?

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-Yes, quite a bit.

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-Because of this, they can eat

-a wide range of prey.

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-He can eat mice and small birds.

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-Then she can eat rabbits,

-and larger birds.

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-So she hunts too?

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-So she hunts too?

-

-Oh, yes.

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-He looks nice now,

-the sun on his back.

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-Yes.

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-Lovely birds. They're my favourites.

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-They are great.

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-I found my first nest

-when I was 11 years old.

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-I've been watching it

-ever since then.

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-I grew up near the Berwyn mountains,

-where there's a lot of heather.

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-I remember seeing these

-when I was a small boy.

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-I go up the mountain every spring.

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-Because of the dance?

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-Yes, and because it flies to wild

-regions, the really lonely places.

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-There's only you

-and the birds there.

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-There's something

-special about that.

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-Hey, Dewi, a golden eagle!

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-Hey, Dewi, a golden eagle!

-

-Where?

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-You see the white house in the

-distance? Straight up from there.

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-Good heavens, look at the its size!

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-Good heavens, look at the its size!

-

-Good grief!

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-They're far away.

-Look, that raven is chasing it.

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-What do you mean?

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-It's chasing it.

-Look at the difference in size.

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-Why can a raven chase

-a golden eagle?

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-It could eat a small raven.

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-Once out of the nest,

-an eagle could eat them.

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-It eats hares, even small deers.

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-So the raven always

-chases it mercilessly.

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-But that's like me

-chasing Scott Quinnell!

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-Yes, but the eagle thinks,

-'Well, I could attack.

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-'But this bird has a big beak and

-could hurt me. I could lose an eye.'

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-If an eagle is hurt, it dies.

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-It depends on its eyes.

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-Still, it makes you think.

-Is the raven faster than it?

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-Not really. But the eagle

-has to be very careful.

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-Hey, my first time!

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-Hey, my first time!

-

-Really? You've never seen a...

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-Hey, my first time!

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-You've seen one?

0:18:110:18:12

-You've seen one?

-

-Yes, yes!

0:18:120:18:13

-You've seen one?

0:18:130:18:13

-You've never seen a golden eagle?

0:18:130:18:14

-You've never seen a golden eagle?

-

-No.

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-As you saw, from afar

-I know, but good grief...

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-..it's like seeing

-a barn door in the sky.

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-It's time to leave the Uists.

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-The weather was good enough for us

-to risk the 50 miles to the west...

0:18:310:18:34

-..over the Atlantic Ocean.

0:18:340:18:36

-St Kilda is a group of islands.

-The main island is Hirta...

0:19:110:19:15

-..where the village,

-our destination, is located.

0:19:150:19:18

-Before reaching

-Village Bay on Hirta...

0:19:190:19:21

-..we took advantage of the fantastic

-weather to have a look...

0:19:210:19:24

-..at Boraraigh Island and the Stacs,

-4 miles to the north east.

0:19:240:19:28

-Stac Lee is on the left...

0:19:280:19:30

-..and Stac an Armin on the right,

-rising to a height of over 600 ft.

0:19:300:19:34

-This is what makes St Kilda

-special for an ornithologist.

0:19:340:19:38

-It's the largest gannet

-nesting ground in the world.

0:19:380:19:40

-At the last count, 15 years ago...

0:19:400:19:42

-..more than 70,000 pairs of gannets

-nested on Boreray and the Stacs.

0:19:430:19:47

-Another count is about

-to be launched.

0:19:470:19:50

-Lots of people at home would say,

-"You've been counting birds.

0:19:510:19:55

-"What's the point?"

0:19:560:19:58

-It's a good point.

0:19:580:20:00

-The reason why is that these

-gannets, like all sea birds...

0:20:000:20:04

-..are on top of the food chain.

0:20:050:20:07

-They eat fish, and fish eat things

-in the water, like plankton.

0:20:080:20:12

-You can't count plankton, you can't

-count fish, but you can count birds.

0:20:130:20:17

-If the birds do well,

-that means that the sea is healthy.

0:20:180:20:22

-The sea is exceptionally calm.

0:20:370:20:39

-No wind, no waves. We had to make

-the most of the opportunity.

0:20:390:20:43

-No-one had landed

-on Boreray for three years.

0:20:430:20:47

-Hurray!

0:20:530:20:54

-If you think I'm going to do that,

-you're bloomin' joking!

0:20:550:20:59

-There's still quite a way to go.

0:21:040:21:05

-There's still quite a way to go.

-

-I'm sweating already.

0:21:050:21:06

-Me, too.

0:21:080:21:09

-Those are Soay sheep, named

-after one of St Kilda's islands.

0:21:150:21:19

-These come from an ancient native

-stock that are totally wild by now.

0:21:200:21:24

-Alright?

0:21:240:21:25

-Alright?

-

-Yes.

0:21:250:21:26

-It's quite a climb.

0:21:260:21:27

-It's quite a climb.

-

-I don't like heights.

0:21:270:21:29

-Don't look down.

0:21:290:21:30

-When I look up, I see your bum.

0:21:330:21:35

-And how far we have to go!

0:21:370:21:39

-I'd rather see your bum

-than look down.

0:21:390:21:43

-BOTH PANT

0:21:450:21:47

-Not far now.

0:21:530:21:54

-Not far now.

-

-No?

0:21:540:21:55

-A thousand feet.

0:21:550:21:56

-I'm not going any further.

-My head's starting to spin.

0:22:120:22:16

-Wow, what a place.

0:22:160:22:17

-Wow, what a place.

-

-I'll sit here.

0:22:170:22:19

-I read in this book that the blokes

-who lived here long ago...

0:22:190:22:23

-..came here in boats,

-climbed up to catch the birds.

0:22:230:22:27

-They climbed right to the top

-and then used a rope to go down...

0:22:280:22:32

-..and catch the birds.

0:22:320:22:34

-Weren't they brave?

0:22:340:22:36

-Weren't they brave?

-

-Amazing.

0:22:360:22:38

-There's an old English name

-for them - solan goose.

0:22:440:22:47

-They look like large, white geese.

0:22:470:22:49

-These?

0:22:490:22:50

-These?

-

-Yes.

0:22:500:22:51

-They arrive here to nest

-in March or April.

0:22:540:22:58

-You can see some of them

-carrying nesting material.

0:22:580:23:02

-They add to the nest all season.

0:23:020:23:04

-They stay with the chicks until

-October. The adults leave first.

0:23:050:23:09

-The chicks are huge and fat -

-and they just leave them.

0:23:100:23:13

-Where do they go?

0:23:130:23:14

-Where do they go?

-

-Just out to sea.

0:23:140:23:15

-What, they just fly to sea,

-and land on the sea?

0:23:180:23:21

-Yes. Think why they're here,

-on a rock in the middle of the sea.

0:23:210:23:25

-To lay eggs.

0:23:260:23:27

-There's nothing here -

-but for them, it's a safe place.

0:23:270:23:31

-No danger from things like foxes.

0:23:310:23:33

-There's food around them everywhere

-in the sea, so it's an ideal spot.

0:23:330:23:37

-That's why they come to this rock.

0:23:380:23:40

-The white and black ones

-are gannets.

0:23:430:23:46

-What's the other one - a fulmar?

0:23:470:23:49

-Those small, grey ones?

0:23:490:23:50

-Those small, grey ones?

-

-That's it, a fulmar.

0:23:500:23:52

-That's like a small albatross,

-with its long, thin wings.

0:23:530:23:57

-It has two tubes on its beak, that

-take the salt out of the water.

0:23:580:24:04

-It can live at sea for years.

0:24:040:24:06

-And drink the water? Like a filter?

0:24:070:24:08

-And drink the water? Like a filter?

-

-Yes.

0:24:080:24:09

-With the sun on them,

-they look very bright.

0:24:110:24:13

-Marvellous.

0:24:130:24:15

-This is Stac an Armin.

0:24:190:24:21

-In the bird-watching world,

-it's a historical place.

0:24:220:24:26

-Halfway up, on the right -

-I can see it through the binox...

0:24:260:24:31

-..there's a small hut made

-of rocks, a cleit. Have a look.

0:24:310:24:37

-There, in 1840, the last great auk

-in Britain was killed.

0:24:380:24:44

-What's a great auk?

0:24:450:24:46

-It's from the same family as the

-razorbill, the guillemot and puffin.

0:24:470:24:52

-But it was more like a penguin,

-and large, like this.

0:24:530:24:57

-It couldn't fly.

0:24:580:24:59

-It couldn't fly.

-

-How did it get up there?

0:24:590:25:01

-On its feet, it had a kind of claw,

-and could climb well.

0:25:010:25:05

-But it couldn't fly.

-Under the water, it was great.

0:25:060:25:09

-It had small wings. But the last one

-was killed there, in 1840.

0:25:090:25:13

-The men climbed up?

0:25:130:25:14

-The men climbed up?

-

-Yes, after it.

0:25:140:25:16

-And only four years

-after that, in 1844...

0:25:160:25:19

-..the last of them all

-was killed in Iceland.

0:25:190:25:23

-Isn't that sad?

0:25:240:25:25

-Isn't that sad?

-

-Yes.

0:25:250:25:26

-It's great for me to come here -

-it's like a pilgrimage.

0:25:260:25:30

-It was a dangerous place for

-those men to climb, to get the auk.

0:25:310:25:35

-Have you heard the story about the

-lesser beach gull in Aberystwyth?

0:25:430:25:47

-It lived on the beach.

-This male gull passed by.

0:25:470:25:51

-He said, "Hello. Want

-to meet tomorrow, at 8.00pm?"

0:25:510:25:55

-The female answered,

-"I live here. Where do you live?"

0:25:550:25:59

-The male answered,

-"On Consti Hill. See you at 8.00."

0:25:590:26:03

-The next day, she waited for him at

-8.00. 8.15 came, 8.30, 9.00, 9.30...

0:26:030:26:06

-..but there was no sign of him.

0:26:060:26:08

-He arrived at ten o'clock.

-She asked, "Where have you been?"

0:26:090:26:11

-He said, "It was so nice,

-I decided to walk down."

0:26:120:26:15

-Where's the rock? I'm going down

-this way, after a joke like that!

0:26:180:26:23

-888

0:26:330:26:35

-As we left Boreray, heading for

-Hirta, St Kilda's main island...

0:26:460:26:50

-..we passed Stac Lee.

0:26:500:26:52

-I found it difficult to believe that

-the islanders of old could climb it.

0:26:520:26:56

-But they did.

0:26:570:26:59

-They spent every summer...

0:26:590:27:01

-..harvesting the birds

-and eggs from the noisy ledges.

0:27:010:27:05

-Aldous Huxley had a theory

-that an ideal community...

0:27:180:27:21

-..could be established, if isolated

-from the rest of the world.

0:27:220:27:25

-Where better to isolate people

-than on an island?

0:27:260:27:30

-For centuries,

-the people of St Kilda...

0:27:320:27:35

-..had amazingly few links

-with the world.

0:27:350:27:37

-Perhaps this lack of awareness

-of the world made them contented.

0:27:370:27:41

-Gradually, contact

-with the outside world...

0:27:590:28:02

-..eroded that contentment.

0:28:020:28:04

-In 1930, for their own

-welfare, it was said...

0:28:040:28:08

-..the inhabitants were persuaded

-to leave for the mainland.

0:28:080:28:12

-For over 25 years afterwards, until

-1957, the islands were uninhabited.

0:28:120:28:16

-At that time, the National Trust

-took an interest in the place...

0:28:260:28:29

-..and the army too.

0:28:290:28:31

-A missile tracking station

-was established here.

0:28:310:28:34

-By the 1980s, the uniqueness

-of the place was recognised.

0:28:340:28:38

-The islands were designated a World

-Heritage Site by the United Nations.

0:28:380:28:42

-This is St Kilda's main street.

0:28:440:28:47

-It's more of a path.

0:28:470:28:49

-Yes. This is where the factor lived.

0:28:500:28:52

-He was the manager

-for the McLeods on the mainland.

0:28:520:28:56

-Here?

0:28:560:28:57

-The people lived

-in those small houses.

0:28:580:29:01

-Those small cottages.

0:29:010:29:03

-The first to write

-about St Kilda and its people...

0:29:030:29:06

-..was a man called Martin Martin...

0:29:060:29:08

-..when he visited

-the islands in 1697.

0:29:080:29:11

-He describes "the remarkable

-inhabitants of the isles...

0:29:110:29:14

-.."have a genius

-for poetry, music and dancing...

0:29:140:29:17

-.."and an amazing suppleness

-for climbing rocks...

0:29:170:29:20

-.."and the walls of their houses."

0:29:210:29:23

-Out of necessity,

-it was a very close-knit society.

0:29:230:29:27

-The men held a daily parliament.

0:29:270:29:29

-There they decided

-on the work for that day.

0:29:300:29:33

-They all met here to decide.

-That's a good thing, isn't it?

0:29:330:29:37

-Right, quiet, please!

0:29:380:29:40

-Thank you. Today's arrangements.

0:29:410:29:43

-I want you, Dewi,

-to go over that high hill.

0:29:440:29:47

-There are steep cliffs

-the other side.

0:29:470:29:50

-I want you to count birds there.

0:29:500:29:52

-While you do that,

-I'm going to have a cuppa.

0:29:520:29:55

-Maybe it wasn't such a good thing.

0:30:030:30:05

-Iolo!

0:30:070:30:08

-It looks like a Neolithic village.

0:30:190:30:20

-It looks like a Neolithic village.

-

-It does.

0:30:200:30:21

-It dates back to that time,

-apparently.

0:30:210:30:23

-Their shape does.

0:30:240:30:25

-Do we know when people

-came here first?

0:30:250:30:29

-Half past four?

0:30:290:30:30

-I heard it was half past six,

-a bit later than that.

0:30:310:30:35

-These look like huts.

-They're called cleits.

0:30:370:30:41

-They caught sea birds, then hung

-them up on the walls inside...

0:30:420:30:47

-..to dry, and keep over winter.

-Have a look in here.

0:30:480:30:53

-It goes to the left and right.

0:30:530:30:55

-It's quite big.

0:30:580:30:59

-Yes. There are hundreds

-of them, as you see.

0:31:000:31:03

-With turf on the roof,

-to keep the rain out.

0:31:030:31:07

-There used to be a wooden door.

0:31:070:31:09

-They would get that from shipwrecks

-as there isn't any wood here.

0:31:090:31:13

-No, there aren't any trees here.

0:31:130:31:15

-It's interesting, there was a kind

-of annual calendar with the birds.

0:31:150:31:19

-It began in March, when the

-razorbills and guillemots arrived.

0:31:200:31:23

-The people ate those,

-after a long, hard winter.

0:31:240:31:27

-Then they went on to the puffins,

-who returned next.

0:31:270:31:30

-Then they'd eat some of the eggs.

0:31:310:31:33

-But the most important time,

-by far...

0:31:330:31:36

-..was August, September and October.

0:31:360:31:38

-In August, the fulmars. They ate

-the chicks when they were big.

0:31:390:31:44

-They'd get meat and oil.

0:31:440:31:46

-Then they'd move on to gannets.

0:31:460:31:49

-They killed them

-in September and October.

0:31:490:31:53

-That was the vital food,

-which was stored in these.

0:31:530:31:57

-It sustained them right up

-until the following March.

0:31:570:32:02

-I read somewhere that they killed

-around 10,000 fulmars.

0:32:020:32:07

-They must have killed

-thousands of gannets too.

0:32:070:32:11

-This was a kind of pantry,

-like Mam had to keep meat.

0:32:120:32:16

-Exactly. Some people

-kept ropes inside them.

0:32:160:32:20

-Others might store crops.

0:32:210:32:23

-Everything they wanted

-to keep dry and safe went in here.

0:32:230:32:27

-The only difference from our fridges

-is that when you opened this door...

0:32:280:32:32

-..the light didn't go on.

0:32:330:32:35

-That was a bad joke.

0:32:360:32:38

-Apart from the birds, sheep

-were their main sustenance.

0:32:390:32:42

-But they were very wild sheep,

-and very difficult to corral.

0:32:430:32:47

-"To catch them, one had to use dogs,

-and run them down one by one.

0:32:470:32:51

-"The sport of catching them was one

-of the islanders' main amusements,"

0:32:510:32:54

-..according to Martin.

0:32:540:32:56

-This is Conachair, Dewi.

-Quite a name!

0:33:340:33:38

-It's the highest cliff in Britain.

0:33:380:33:40

-From the sea to its summit,

-it's almost 1,500 ft.

0:33:400:33:44

-There are fulmars everywhere here.

0:33:450:33:47

-People came here every August...

0:33:480:33:50

-..to catch the chicks

-when they were quite large.

0:33:510:33:54

-Iolo - it's quite steep.

0:33:540:33:56

-You can say that again.

0:33:570:33:59

-You can say that again.

-

-Iolo - it's quite steep!

0:33:590:34:01

-I read that, to catch the birds,

-they put a stake in the earth here.

0:34:040:34:08

-They tied a rope, not like ropes

-we know, but one of horse hair...

0:34:080:34:12

-..with a little leather to protect

-it from the wind and rain.

0:34:130:34:16

-They tied it there,

-then went over the edge.

0:34:160:34:19

-They'd let themselves down,

-on their own.

0:34:200:34:22

-They'd catch the chicks,

-tie them to their belts...

0:34:220:34:26

-..then go back up. I can't think

-of going any closer than this.

0:34:260:34:30

-Amazing. Brave people. Still,

-if you've grown up with it...

0:34:300:34:34

-..since you were a small boy of four

-or five, climbing with Dad.

0:34:350:34:39

-I can imagine,

-but can't get used to it!

0:34:390:34:42

-The older I get, the worse it is.

0:34:420:34:44

-The older I get, the worse it is.

-

-It's getting cloudy, we'd better go.

0:34:440:34:46

-Off we go.

0:34:460:34:48

-Oh... this is the best way.

0:34:480:34:50

-Off we go.

-You'll be glad to get down.

0:34:500:34:54

-The rain's coming.

0:34:540:34:56

-These used to be sheep folds.

-They're an odd shape.

0:35:050:35:08

-They are.

-I read why they're this shape.

0:35:080:35:11

-One of the village men

-built these walls.

0:35:120:35:15

-He decided this was

-the shape they should be.

0:35:150:35:18

-Why this shape?

0:35:190:35:20

-Why this shape?

-

-He was dead drunk most of the time.

0:35:200:35:22

-Remind me not to ask you

-any more questions!

0:35:230:35:27

-It's high time for us

-to join the bird survey.

0:35:300:35:33

-We've come here today

-to help some scientists.

0:35:360:35:40

-They're doing a survey of sea birds,

-which is done every 15 years.

0:35:400:35:45

-Money is contributed by bodies...

0:35:450:35:47

-..such as the Countryside

-Council for Wales, the RSPB...

0:35:470:35:50

-..English Nature, Scottish National

-Heritage, JNCC, and so on.

0:35:500:35:53

-They do a survey of every island

-and cliff, everywhere in Britain.

0:35:530:35:58

-Then that information

-is available for everyone.

0:35:580:36:01

-We've come to this steep part,

-to look in the holes.

0:36:020:36:06

-There's a special technique to find

-out how many birds there are here.

0:36:060:36:11

-We'll meet Sue now, who has a tape.

0:36:110:36:14

-OK, fire away, Sue.

0:36:190:36:21

-SOUND OF BIRD ON TAPE

0:36:210:36:23

-SOUND OF BIRD REPLYING

0:36:290:36:31

-Did you hear that?

0:36:340:36:36

-Sue plays a tape

-of a Manx shearwater...

0:36:370:36:41

-..then the bird answers it.

0:36:420:36:44

-Then she knows there's a bird there,

-and what it is.

0:36:440:36:48

-She has a tape of other birds too.

0:36:490:36:52

-It could be a puffin or a petrel.

0:36:520:36:54

-But we know now that

-it's a Manx shearwater.

0:36:550:36:59

-Sue will divide this area, take

-one part, and look in every hole.

0:37:000:37:06

-She'll play the tape at every hole,

-find out if there's a bird there...

0:37:060:37:10

-..or if it's empty. Then she has

-an idea of the number of birds here.

0:37:100:37:15

-We know from

-the survey of fifteen years ago...

0:37:160:37:20

-..there were 4,000 pairs

-of Manx shearwaters here...

0:37:200:37:24

-..and over 300,000 puffins.

0:37:250:37:27

-It's the largest colony

-of puffins in Britain.

0:37:280:37:32

-Nice one, Sue. Move on?

0:37:330:37:34

-Nice one, Sue. Move on?

-

-OK.

0:37:340:37:35

-If you want to find out what's in

-the holes, there are two techniques.

0:37:360:37:40

-This is the easiest.

-Sue has a tube that goes in.

0:37:400:37:44

-Yes.

0:37:450:37:46

-There's a tiny camera

-on that - with a light.

0:37:460:37:50

-It's linked to this screen.

-Look at the screen.

0:37:500:37:54

-Can you see it?

-It's a Manx shearwater.

0:37:550:37:59

-Can you see it?

0:38:000:38:01

-Can you see it?

-

-Good grief!

0:38:010:38:03

-It has a bluish-black back,

-a white belly and a small beak.

0:38:030:38:08

-One of the pair is usually

-out at sea, feeding all day.

0:38:090:38:13

-The other one sits on a single egg.

0:38:140:38:16

-At night, they come in.

-She'll go out to sea...

0:38:170:38:20

-..and he'll come back

-to sit on the egg.

0:38:210:38:23

-He sits on it too?

0:38:240:38:25

-Yes. This is the best technique

-to find out what is in every hole.

0:38:250:38:29

-Doing this isn't very fair!

0:38:290:38:32

-Doing this isn't very fair!

-

-Why?

0:38:320:38:33

-Imagine you're at home,

-watching 'Pobol y Cwm'.

0:38:340:38:37

-A tube comes in

-through the window...

0:38:370:38:39

-..and a voice says, "Look, they're

-watching 'Pobol y Cwm'!" Push off!

0:38:400:38:44

-No, it's good.

0:38:440:38:45

-It's very useful.

-Sometimes you need to know details.

0:38:450:38:49

-Things like the success of nesting,

-have they laid an egg...

0:38:500:38:53

-..have they hatched a chick,

-is the chick healthy, and so on.

0:38:540:38:57

-With this, you don't have to put

-your hand in or hold the bird...

0:38:570:39:01

-..or interfere too much.

0:39:010:39:02

-..or interfere too much.

-

-This doesn't bother them at all?

0:39:020:39:04

-No. Look - it just sits on the egg.

0:39:050:39:07

-It just sits there

-thinking it's another film crew!

0:39:070:39:11

-We've reached

-the spot I'd read about.

0:39:120:39:15

-I can't go any further - he's gone

-up. That's the Lover's Stone.

0:39:150:39:20

-Iolo! There was a test

-in the old days.

0:39:200:39:23

-If you wanted a wife,

-you had to climb to the end...

0:39:240:39:28

-..balance on one heel,

-then hold your toes with both hands.

0:39:280:39:34

-Think you can do it?

0:39:350:39:37

-Um... know what?

0:39:440:39:45

-Um... know what?

-

-What?

0:39:450:39:46

-I've just remembered, fortunately,

-I'm already married, Dewi.

0:39:460:39:50

-Come down!

0:39:510:39:52

-When someone died, the fastest way

-to transmit the news...

0:39:570:40:01

-..from one place to another...

0:40:010:40:03

-..was by shouting the name

-of that unfortunate person.

0:40:030:40:06

-SHOUTS

0:40:070:40:08

-SHOUTS

-

-Duncan Moore.

0:40:080:40:09

-Donald McLeod.

0:40:110:40:13

-Duncan McQueen.

0:40:140:40:15

-Like many Celtic people,

-the islanders believed...

0:40:190:40:22

-..that the soul

-did not go directly to heaven...

0:40:230:40:26

-..but that it was found in rocks,

-streams and wells, even in birds.

0:40:260:40:31

-There it would remain,

-doing penance...

0:40:320:40:36

-..until the hour came

-to go to heaven.

0:40:360:40:39

-By 1920, tourism

-had gripped the islanders.

0:40:590:41:03

-Many accepted gifts of money, cakes,

-sweets, anything, from the visitors.

0:41:040:41:09

-Some asked a fee for taking

-naturalists around the island...

0:41:100:41:14

-..looking for birds,

-their nests, and eggs.

0:41:140:41:17

-The islanders' traditional way

-of life was finally ending.

0:41:180:41:21

-By the 1920s, the need and desire

-to venture on the rocks had ceased.

0:41:260:41:30

-Some wanted to show their prowess

-to the visitors' cameras.

0:41:310:41:34

-But the esteem for the daring

-climbs wasn't what it used to be.

0:41:350:41:39

-Their renown for catching birds,

-linking life so closely to death...

0:41:390:41:43

-..was fated to disappear for ever.

0:41:430:41:45

-In 1927, a Nurse Barclay was sent

-here by the Health Authority.

0:41:460:41:50

-She, more than anyone, persuaded

-the islanders to leave the place...

0:41:500:41:54

-..and look for a better life

-on the mainland.

0:41:540:41:58

-In every house, a small pile

-of oats was left with an open Bible.

0:42:040:42:09

-On 30th August, 1930, the last

-36 villagers left the island...

0:42:160:42:20

-..on a ship for the mainland.

0:42:200:42:23

-They left the island empty, for

-the first time in over 1,000 years.

0:42:240:42:29

-The islanders' plight after

-leaving the island was a sad one.

0:42:310:42:35

-Most went to Argyll to work

-for the Forestry Commission.

0:42:350:42:39

-But as none of them

-had seen a tree before...

0:42:390:42:42

-..it's no wonder they lost heart.

0:42:430:42:45

-The fate of those who joined the

-foreign, urban culture was the same.

0:42:450:42:50

-The change of world overwhelmed

-many of the older islanders.

0:42:510:42:55

-Many soon died. Longing for the

-island weighed heavily upon them.

0:42:550:42:59

-This is part of a letter

-by Alexander Ferguson...

0:43:000:43:03

-..ten years after leaving.

0:43:030:43:05

-"Recently, I went

-on a boat to Shillay Island.

0:43:060:43:09

-"When I saw St Kilda in the

-distance, in the summer haze...

0:43:090:43:13

-.."I felt like Moses

-on Mount Pisgah...

0:43:130:43:16

-.."looking towards

-the Promised Land."

0:43:160:43:19

-S4C Subtitles by:

-GWEAD

0:43:300:43:32
0:43:320:43:34

Taith i St Kilda, ynysoedd mwyaf gorllewinol Prydain, yng nghwmni Iolo Williams a Dewi Pws. A fascinating journey to St Kilda, Britain's most westernly isles, with Iolo Williams and Dewi Pws